It’s starting to become pretty clear that Lady Antebellum probably should have had a plan B when they made the sudden decision to change their name to the less-problematic “Lady A.” Because there was already an established Seattle blues singer named Anita White, who goes by Lady A, and they’ve all been fighting over the rights to that letter for three months now. Lady A (Anita) was hurt that country band Lady A never reached out before announcing the name change. After an online meeting about sharing the name, the band decided to sue Lady A for the legal rights to the name. Now Lady A has decided to countersue, claiming the band’s messy fight over the name has cost her money and damaged her reputation.
When Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and David Haywood (aka Lady Antebellum) sued Lady A, they accused her of being difficult and not working with them to find a solution to their name issue. They also accused her of demanding $10 million for the Lady A name (which she has used for over 20 years). Lady A fired back, accusing the band of pushing a narrative that paints her as The Angry Black Woman, and themselves as The Poor Lil’ Ol Band Who Just Wants Harmony and Togetherness. She also accused them of performative wokeness, like asking to take a picture of their online Zoom meeting so they could post it online, and thus appear to look like allies to the Black community.
The band Lady Antebellum had applied for a trademark on “Lady A” back in 2010, but the real Lady A never thought to fight it because it was very clearly a nickname for a band that would almost exclusively go by “Lady Antebellum.” That’s not the case now. Lady A had a single that was about to be released this summer, but she was certain it was about to get buried because people were starting to associate “Lady A” with the band, and not the singer. So now she’s suing the band back. Pitchfork writes that Lady A has filed a counter-suit, stating that the band’s attempt to officially own the name has resulted in, “lost sales, diminished brand identity, and diminution in the value of and goodwill associated with the mark.”
Lady A is seeking an unspecified amount of damages. I don’t know if you can put a price on lost time, but I also hope she’s suing for every second she’s lost having to say the words, “Lady A, and no, not the band that tried to do the civil war damage control stuff.” Lady A also possibly addressed her counter-suit on Instagram earlier today, by saying that no matter what “they” say, she’ll never stay silent.
Lady A has made it very clear from both her countersuit and Instagram post that she’s not going to retire her name to that the band that sings the yee-haw booty call song. That alone should be reason enough for why you want ownership of the name. Lady A didn’t get into the biz to be associated with horny red-state voters and aggressive steel pedal guitar.